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Navy puts new system to plug leaks

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 21:09 IST
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The Indian Navy has put in place a system to plug leaks of classified information and documents, the new Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta said on Tuesday.

Mehta, who is the 19th Naval chief, on Tuesday, took over the reins of the Navy from Admiral Arun Prakash.

"We have taken corrective steps to ensure that there are no leaks of classified information and documents," Mehta said during his interaction with the media assuming office, adding that the incident was unfortunate.

In May 2005, the Navy defence ministry was rocked after the case of the Navy war room leak was discovered.

Though subsequent investigations led to the arrest and suspension of officers, the damage caused to the future plans of the Indian defence establishment is yet to be made public.

"A big organisation has been put in place to ensure safety of information and that of units at sea. We are sure we won't have such problems now," Mehta said.

Mehta has commanded Navy's Eastern Naval Command, Western Naval fleet, as also important shore appointment of Director General Coast Guard, Chief of personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, at Naval headquarters here.

Mehta is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Indian Navy in July 1967. He joined the Fleet Air Arm early, and, has extensively operated from our earlier aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, flying the Sea Hawk jet aircraft.

On the role of the Indian Navy in the future, Mehta said that he visualised a much bigger role for the force on waters far away from the country.

He added that said the navy was in the process of acquiring warships, which would give it a longer reach and capability.

"The induction of the 45,000-tonne displacement carrier Admiral Gorshkov and huge troop-landing warship Trenton will soon bring about a different dimension to our fighting capabilities," Mehta said.

Mehta said the acquisition of USS Trenton would increase the navy's potential to carry troops from one place to another in large numbers. Both Gorshkov and Trenton are expected to join the naval fleet by 2008.

Mehta said that the thrust of acquisitions would be on improving the Navy's surveillance capabilities. It has already floated Request for Proposals for acquiring eight surveillance aircraft.

Taking Admiral Prakash's aim of building network centric systems forward, Mehta said such systems were already in the process of being deployed.

"But then there are certain gaps in terms of communications that is passing data. We have various plans afoot, which should fructify soon," he said.

Email Sutirtho Patranobis: sutirthopatranobis@hindustantimes.com

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